About this topic
Summary

Feminist history of philosophy is a reclamation and reformation project focused on the history of western philosophy.  It has several facets.  One facet is a critical analysis of the misogyny and sexism in individual canonical philosophers.  Some feminist historians of philosophy extend their critique to the western philosophical tradition as a whole.  A second facet focuses on restoring women philosophers and their works to the historical record.  Included in this project is the elevation of important women philosophers to the canon and to the philosophical conversation of their period.  A third aspect of feminist history of philosophy includes reflections on what one is doing in doing the history of philosophy as a feminist; how to go about making the philosophical tradition more inclusive of women and other excluded voices; and whether or not—and in what way-- the history of philosophy can be a resource for feminist theory, or for emancipatory theoretical projects more broadly.

Key works

Two pioneering books in feminist history of philosophy, which contain overviews of the western philosophical tradition, are Lloyd 1984 and Okin 1980.   The landmark Re-Reading the Canon series has over thirty volumes of feminist interpretations of historical and canonical philosophers, beginning with feminist interpretations of Plato. Tuana 1994 Works that discuss problems of method in the history of philosophy include Lloyd 2002 and Alanen & Witt 2004.  The continental feminist perspective(s) on the history of philosophy is represented by Irigaray & Kuykendall 1988Le Dœuff 1990 and Deutscher 1997.  

Introductions

The encyclopedia article Witt 2008 provides an introduction and a bibliography for feminist history of philosophy.    

Related categories

672 found
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1 — 50 / 672
  1. Not the Social Kind: anti-naturalist mistakes in the philosophical history of womanhood.Kathleen Stock - manuscript
    I trace a brief history of philosophical discussion of the concept WOMAN and identify two key points at which, I argue, things went badly wrong. The first was where when it was agreed that the concept WOMAN must identify a social not biological kind. The second was where it was decided that the concept WOMAN faced a legitimate challenge of being insufficiently “inclusive”, understood in a certain way. I’ll argue that both of these moves are only intelligible, if at all, (...)
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  2. Nietzsche's Misogyny: A Class Action Suit.Craig Carely - unknown - Proceedings of the Heraclitean Society 19.
  3. Book Review: Wollstonecraft, Mill, and Women’s Human Rights, by Eileen Hunt Botting, Symposium on Botting’s Eileen Hunt Wollstonecraft, Mill, and Women’s Human Rights . 306 pp. [REVIEW]Ruth Abbey - forthcoming - Political Theory:009059171772531.
  4. Women, Liberty, and Forms of Feminism.Karen Detlefsen - forthcoming - In Jacqueline Broad & Karen Detlefsen (eds.), Women and Liberty, 1600-1800: Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter shows how Mary Astell and Margaret Cavendish can reasonably be understood as early feminists in three senses of the term. First, they are committed to the natural equality of men and women, and related, they are committed to equal opportunity of education for men and women. Second, they are committed to social structures that help women develop authentic selves and thus autonomy understood in one sense of the word. Third, they acknowledge the power of production relationships, especially friendships (...)
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  5. Pragmatist Feminism and the Work of Charlene Haddock Seigfried.Lee A. Mcbride Iii & Erin McKenna (eds.) - forthcoming
  6. ‘Aux Ouvrières!’: socialist feminism in the Paris Commune.James Muldoon, Mirjam Müller & Bruno Leipold - forthcoming - Intellectual History Review.
  7. Adriana Cavarero, In Spite of Plato: A Feminist Rewriting of Ancient Philosophy.S. Sandford - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
  8. Becoming Like a Woman in advance.Charles Snyder - forthcoming - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy.
  9. Kantian Care.Helga Varden - forthcoming - In Amy Baehr & Asha Bhandary (eds.), Caring for Liberalism: Dependency and Political Theory. pp. 50-74.
    How do we care well for a human being: ourselves or another? Non-Kantian scholars rarely identify the philosophy of Kant as a particularly useful resource with which to understand the full complexity of human care. Kant’s philosophy is often taken to presuppose that a philosophical analysis of good human life needs to attend only to how autonomous, rational agents—sprung up like mushrooms out of nowhere, without a childhood, never sick, always independent—ought to act respectfully, and how they can be forced (...)
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  10. Form, Normativity and Gender in Aristotle A Feminist Perspective.C. Witt - forthcoming - Feminist Reflections on the History of Philosophy:117--136.
  11. A call for psycho-affective change: Fanon, feminism, and white negrophobic femininity.Nicole Yokum - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Frantz Fanon’s analysis of white negrophobic women’s masochistic sexuality and sexual fantasies in Black Skin, White Masks, is, as T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting notes, among his most contentious work for feminists. Susan Brownmiller, in her 1975 classic Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, charges Fanon not only with hating women but also with being personally confused and anguished, on account of this portion of the text. In this essay, I examine Fanon’s approach to theorizing white female negrophobia in light of (...)
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  12. Benjamin Bennett, Shaping a Modern Ethics: The Humanist Legacy from Nietzsche to Feminism.Jacob L. Goodson - 2022 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 19 (1):79-81.
  13. Decoloniality and the (im)possibility of an African feminist philosophy.Dominic Griffiths - 2022 - South African Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):240-259.
    This article offers a prolegomenon for an African feminist philosophy. The prompt for this as an interrogation of Oluwele’s claim that an African feminist philosophy cannot develop until identifiable African worldviews that guide the relationship between men and women have been established. She argues that until there is general agreement about the nature of African philosophy itself, African feminist philosophy will remain impoverished. I critique this claim, unpacking Oluwele’s argument, and examine the contested nature of both African and Western philosophy. (...)
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  14. Dionyseus Lyseus Reborn.Joshua M. Hall - 2022 - Philosophy Today 66 (1):57-74.
    Having elsewhere connected Walter Otto’s interpretation of Dionysus as a politically progressive deity to Huey P. Newton’s vision for the Black Panthers, I here expand this inquiry to a line of Otto-inspired scholarship. First, Alain Daniélou identifies Dionysus and Shiva as the dancing god of a democratic/decolonizing cult oppressed by tyrannical patriarchies. Arthur Evans sharpens this critique of sexism and heteronormativity, concluding that, as Dionysus’s chorus is to Greek tragedy, so Socrates’s circle is to Western philosophy. I thus call for (...)
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  15. Feminist philosophy of humor.Amy Marvin - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (7):e12858.
  16. Vulnerability and non-domination: a republican perspective on natural limits.Peter F. Cannavò - 2021 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 24 (5):693-709.
  17. Nancy Fraser, Iris Marion Young, and the Intersections of Justice: Equality, Recognition, Participation, and Third Wave Feminism.Gary Dorrien - 2021 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 42 (3):5-34.
    The call to struggle for social justice mobilizes progressive institutions, movements, and traditions that share nothing else. Progressives lacking any other ideological, religious, political, or cultural basis of commonality join together to make gains toward social justice, sometimes registering the historic limitations of this term by renaming it "eco-justice" or eco-social justice. The idea of social justice arose in the socialist and labor union movements of the mid-nineteenth century and was appropriated in Catholic and Protestant social teaching. Essentially it was (...)
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  18. Gender, Genre, and Discourse: The Woman Avenger in Medieval Chinese Texts.Manling Luo - 2021 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 134 (4):579.
    This paper examines representations of the woman avenger in three types of medieval Chinese writings, namely, official biographies, Music Bureau poetry, and unofficial prose accounts. Such cross-genre comparisons shed light on how different narrative conventions or the lack thereof shaped the ways in which the potentially controversial stories of female vengeance were recounted. Unofficial prose accounts from the Tang period, in particular, demonstrate the development of a distinctive discourse on women and sanctioned violence that opened up fertile grounds for exploring (...)
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  19. Ein Gesellschaftsvertrag für alle. Die Universalität der Menschenrechte nach Olympe de Gouges.Elisa Orrù - 2021 - Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 46 (2):183-206.
    The importance of French revolutionary and philosopher Olympe de Gouges as a pioneer of the women’s rights movement is generally recognised today. In contrast, the significance of her thought for practical philosophy has not yet been fully appreciated. This article aims to bring out the relevance of de Gouges’ writings for practical philosophy both historically and systematically. Drawing on her 1791 text The Rights of Women, this article compares de Gouges’ depiction of gender relationships in the private and public spheres (...)
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  20. Special Issue on Feminism and Capitalism.Priti Ramamurthy, Attiya Ahmad, Judith Gardiner, Bibiana Obler, Lisa Rofel, Megan Sweeney & Ashwini Tambe - 2021 - Feminist Studies 47 (3):479-491.
  21. Oxford Handbook of Feminist Philosophy.Ásta Sveinsdóttir & Kim Q. Hall (eds.) - 2021
    This exciting new Handbook offers a comprehensive overview of the contemporary state of the field in feminist philosophy. The editors' introduction and forty-five essays cover feminist critical engagements with philosophy and adjacent scholarly fields, as well as feminist approaches to current debates and crises across the world. Authors cover topics ranging from the ways in which feminist philosophy attends to other systems of oppression, and the gendered, racialized, and classed assumptions embedded in philosophical concepts, to feminist perspectives on prominent subfields (...)
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  22. Strength And Superiority: The Theme Of Strength In The Querelle Des Femmes.Eric Wilkinson - 2021 - de Philosophia 1 (1):1-10.
    The querelle des femmes was an intellectual debate over the status of women that occurred in the early modern period, between the 1400s and 1700s. A common argument for the superiority of men and inferiority of women that appeared during the debate is that women are less physically strong than men, and are therefore inferior. In response, two distinct argumentative strategies were developed by defenders of women. First, some argued that men and women did not in fact differ in physical (...)
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  23. Haack Among the Feminists: Or, Where Are the Women?Timothy J. Crowley - 2020 - Cosmos + Taxis 8 (6+7):1-17.
    On Susan Haack's relationship to contemporary academic feminism; and contemporary academic feminism's relationship to Susan Haack.
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  24. Think Like a Feminist: The Philosophy Behind the Revolution.Carol Hay - 2020 - New York, NY, USA: W.W. Norton & Co..
    An audacious and accessible guide to feminist philosophy—its origins, its key ideas, and its latest directions.​ .
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  25. Philosophy and the Maternal.Charlotte Knowles - 2020 - Studies in the Maternal 13 (1):1-8.
    Reflections on the role and position of maternal relations within philosophy as a practical discipline, as a metaphor for philosophical practice, and as a subject of philosophical investigation.
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  26. Women Philosophers Throughout History: An Open Collection.Marcy Lascano, Kevin Watson & Rafael Martins (eds.) - 2020 - Lawrence, KS, USA: University of Kansas Libraries.
    This is collection of four philosophical texts written exclusively by women. It contemplates in chronological order The Dialogue by Catherine of Siena, The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila, An Essay in Defence of the Female Sex by Judith Drake, and An Enquiry into the Evidence of the Christian Religion by Susanna Newcome. As such, the collection includes works in value theory, practical reason, theology, metaphysics, and epistemology. It encompasses eminently philosophical topics such as self-knowledge, prudence vs. morality, the pursuit (...)
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  27. The Progress of Law: Aeschylus’s Oresteia in Feminist and Critical Theory.Wairimu Njoya - 2020 - Political Theory 48 (2):139-168.
    The Oresteia is conventionally read as an account of progress from the age of private vendetta to the public order of legal justice. According to G.W.F. Hegel, an influential proponent of this view, the establishment of a court in Athens was the first step in the progressive universalization of law. For feminists and Frankfurt School theorists, in contrast, the Oresteia offers an account of the origins of patriarchy and class domination by legal means. This article examines the two competing interpretations (...)
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  28. Olympe de Gouges on Slavery.Elisa Orrù - 2020 - Diacronìa 2 (2):95-121.
    In addition to authoring the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of Citizen (1791), for which she is generally known today, Olympe de Gouges devoted several writings to denouncing slavery. In this article, I present the contents of these works by placing them in the context of both the Parisian debate and the situation in the colonies. Furthermore, I highlight the theoretical contribution of these writings with respect to the specific situation of slavery and, more generally, with respect to (...)
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  29. Den gamle (mannen) som Den Andre. Feministisk filosofi og metode i Simone de Beauvoirs Alderdommen og Det annet kjønn [The old (man) as the Other. Feminist philosophy and method in Simone de Beauvoir’s The Coming of Age and The Second Sex].Tove Pettersen - 2020 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 55 (4):224-241.
    I Alderdommen (1970) fremsetter Simone de Beauvoir en filosofisk analyse av alderdom og eldre menneskers situa- sjon, og hevder at behandlingen de får er «skandaløs»; samfunnet «returnerer dem som en vare det ikke lenger er bruk for». Hun tilkjennegir et like stort engasjement mot den urett som eldre utsettes for som hun gjør i Det annet kjønn (1949) når det gjelder undertrykkelsen av kvinner. Likevel påstår Beauvoir at alderdommen først og fremst er et problem for mannen, og det har blitt (...)
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  30. Sex, Love, and Gender: A Kantian Theory.Helga Varden - 2020 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Sex, Love, and Gender is the first volume to present a comprehensive philosophical theory that brings together all of Kant's practical philosophy — found across his works on ethics, justice, anthropology, history, and religion — and provide a critique of emotionally healthy and morally permissible sexual, loving, gendered being. By rethinking Kant's work on human nature and making space for sex, love, and gender within his moral accounts of freedom, the book shows how, despite his austere and even anti-sex, cisist, (...)
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  31. Philosophy by Women 22 Philosophers Reflect on Philosophy and Its Value.Elly Vintiadis (ed.) - 2020 - New York, USA: Routledge.
    What is philosophy, why does it matter, and how would it be different if women wrote more of it? At a time when the importance of philosophy, and the humanities in general, is being questioned and at a time when the question of gender equality is a huge public question, 22 women in philosophy lay out in this book how they think of philosophy, what they actually do, and how that is applied to actual problems. By bringing together accounts of (...)
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  32. Against the ban on women’s remarriage: Gendering ui 義 in Song Siyeol’s philosophy.Hwa Yeong Wang - 2020 - Asian Philosophy 30 (3):242-257.
    This article investigates the views of Song Siyeol 宋時烈 (1607–1689), a Confucian scholar-official in Joseon Korea, on marriage ritual, with a special focus on the issue of women’s remarriage. Song opposed the legal ban on women’s remarriage that was enforced in his age, despite the danger this invited of being accused of promoting licentious deeds as well as generating suspicion about his loyalty as a subject. He clearly understood women’s remarriage as an ethical and not a legal issue. The ethical (...)
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  33. Chastity as a virtue.Hwa Yeong Wang - 2020 - Religions 5 (11).
    This paper analyzes two philosophers’ views on chastity as a virtue, comparing Song Siyeol, a Korean neo-Confucian philosopher of the east, and David Hume, a Scottish philosopher. Despite the importance in and impact on women’s lives, chastity has been understated in religio-philosophical fields. The two philosophers’ understandings and arguments differ in significant ways and yet share important common aspects. Analyzing the views of Song and Hume helps us better understand and approach the issue of women’s chastity, not only as a (...)
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  34. Review of "Foucault's Futures: A Critique of Reproductive Reason" by Penelope Deutscher. [REVIEW]Anna Carastathis - 2019 - Apa Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy 18 (1):15-18.
    Penelope Deutscher’s book, "Foucault’s Futures: A Critique of Reproductive Reason" engages with the recent interest in reproduction, futurity, failure, and negativity in queer theory, but also the historical and ongoing investments in the concept of reproduction in feminist theory as well as (US) social movements. "Foucault’s Futures" troubles the forms of subjectivation presupposed by “reproductive rights” from a feminist perspective, exploring the “contiguity” between reproductive reason and biopolitics—specifically the proximity of reproduction to death, risk, fatality, and threat: its thanatopolitical underbelly.
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  35. Liminal Bodies, Reproductive Health, and Feminist Rhetoric: Searching the Negative Spaces in Histories of Rhetoric by Lydia M. McDermott. [REVIEW]Nicholas Danne - 2019 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 12 (1):172-175.
    Liminal Bodies, Reproductive Health, and Feminist Rhetoric presents composition professor Lydia McDermott's "sonogram" methodology of rhetorical listening, an exercise that discloses feminine voices muted or unjustly disciplined within texts ostensibly written on women's behalf. The texts examined by McDermott range from eighteenth-century pregnancy manuals to speeches by Favorinus, the ancient sophist, who is described from antiquity as a hermaphrodite. Part of McDermott's purpose in sonogramming is to critique modern and contemporary feminists. She objects to the feminist trend of perpetuating and (...)
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  36. No Social Revolution Without Sexual Revolution.Kevin Duong - 2019 - Political Theory 47 (6):809-835.
    Recent studies have revealed how workers’ movements adapted republicanism into a language of anticapitalism in the nineteenth century. Much less attention has been paid, however, to the role feminists played in this process. This essay addresses this oversight by introducing the voices of the utopian socialists under July Monarchy France. These socialists insisted that there could be no social revolution without sexual revolution. Although they are often positioned outside of the republican tradition, this essay argues that the utopian socialists are (...)
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  37. "Mujer" y "naturaleza" en el pensamiento griego antiguo.Aida Míguez Barciela - 2019 - In Género y mujeres en el mediterráneo antiguo.
  38. Book Review: The Political Thought of America’s Founding Feminists, by Lisa Pace Vetter. [REVIEW]Wynne Walker Moskop - 2019 - Political Theory 47 (2):293-300.
  39. On finding yourself in a state of nature: A Kantian account of abortion and voluntary motherhood.Jordan Pascoe - 2019 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 5 (3).
    I defend the right to an abortion at any stage of pregnancy by drawing on a Kantian account of consent and innate right. I examine how pregnant women are positioned in moral and legal debates about abortion, and develop a Kanitan account of bodily autonomy in order to pregnant women’s epistemic authority over the experience of pregnancy. Second, I show how Kant's distinction between innate and private right offers an excellent legal framework for embodied rights, including abortion and sexual consent, (...)
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  40. on finding yourself in a state of nature: a kantian account of abortion and voluntary motherhood.Jordan Pascoe - 2019 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 5 (3).
    In this essay, I draw on Kant’s legal philosophy in order to defend the right to voluntary motherhood by way of abortion at any stage of pregnancy as an essential feature of women’s basic rights. By developing the distinction between innate and acquired right in Kant’s legal philosophy, I argue that the viability standard in US law (as established in Planned Parenthood v. Casey) misunderstands the nature of embodied right. Our body is the site of innate right; it is the (...)
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  41. Seductress, Storyteller, and Subject: Helen of Argos and the “Feminine” Complex of Dialectic of Enlightenment.Katherine Bermingham - 2018 - New German Critique 45 (1):155-179.
    Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment laid indispensable groundwork for critiquing instrumental rationality and the power dynamics embedded in discursive logic. Especially relevant for feminist theorists is the pair’s excursus on Homer’s Odyssey, which reads the hero’s epic journey as an allegory for the emergence of subjectivity. Horkheimer and Adorno interpret Homer’s female characters as sensual forces of nature that Odysseus must resist in his quest for homecoming. Yet, conspicuously absent from Horkheimer and Adorno’s analysis—and previous feminist commentaries (...)
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  42. Beyond Acting and Being Acted Upon.Emanuela Bianchi - 2018 - Philosophy Today 62 (3):1025-1036.
  43. Anne‐Thérèse de Lambert on Aging and Self‐Esteem.Andreas Blank - 2018 - Hypatia 33 (2):289-304.
    This article studies Madame de Lambert's early eighteenth-century views on aging, and especially the aging of women, by contextualizing them in a twofold way: It understands them as a response to La Rochefoucauld's skepticism concerning aging, women, and the aging of women; It understands them as being closely connected to a long series of scattered remarks concerning esteem, self-esteem, and honnêteté in Lambert's moral essays. Whereas La Rochefoucauld describes aging as a decline of intellectual, emotional, and physical powers and is (...)
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  44. Gender as Lived Time: Reading The Second Sex for a Feminist Phenomenology of Temporality.Megan M. Burke - 2018 - Hypatia 33 (1):111-127.
    This article suggests that Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex offers an important contribution to a feminist phenomenology of temporality. In contrast to readings of The Second Sex that focus on the notion of “becoming” as the main claim about the relation between “woman” and time, this article suggests that Beauvoir's discussion of temporality in volume II of The Second Sex shows that Beauvoir understands the temporality of waiting, or a passive present, to be an underlying structure of women's existence (...)
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  45. Fundamental Feminism: Radical Feminist History for the Future.Judith Grant - 2018 - New York: Routledge.
    Just in time for the 25th anniversary of this classic text, Judith Grant updates her challenge to what she calls the hyphenated model of feminist theory. Including new material on intersectionality, postmodernism, and global feminisms, Grant provides new introductions to every chapter as well as a new introduction and conclusion to the entire text, plus will recruit an esteemed Foreword author to reintroduce the new edition to the latest generation of feminist students and scholars. In Fundamental Feminism, Judith Grant explores (...)
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  46. Feminism as Critique in a Neoliberal Age: Debating Nancy Fraser.Pauline Johnson - 2018 - Critical Horizons 19 (1):1-17.
    Neoliberalism, we are told, has “seduced” feminism. What is meant is that the libertarian and democratic hopes that have scoped this radical social movement have been reconfigured and re-energised by neoliberal project that models all our freedoms upon the market. Misgivings about “seductions” and “betrayals” require that feminist theory adopts the role of the arbiter on goals and meanings and this puts strains upon its deep commitment to democratic epistemologies. The following paper finds that the leading theorist of feminism as (...)
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  47. Recognition and Feminist Thought.Kristina Lepold - 2018 - Handbuch Anerkennung.
    In this article, we give an overview over both past and present as well as possible future debates around recognition in and in connection with feminist thought. In principle, recognition can involve persons, collectives, and institutions, but here we are primarily concerned with the recognition of persons by other persons. In the first section, we start with a discussion of care as a form of recognition and the recognition of care work. In the second section, we turn to critiques of (...)
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  48. Review of The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy. [REVIEW]Amy Marvin - 2018 - Hypatia Reviews Online 2018.
    The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy presents an exciting, comprehensive, and original pluralist presentation of feminist philosophy that is a much-needed update to existing feminist philosophy companions. Students, scholars, independent researchers, and departments interested in feminism and philosophy would do well to make sure they have access to this volume, and it should be a relevant resource for years to come. Reviewing such an expansive presentation of feminist philosophy across differences also raises considerations about the meanings and limits of pluralism (...)
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  49. Genos, sex, gender and genre.Stella Sandford - 2018 - In Kirsten Malmkjaer, Adriana Serban & Fransiska Louwagie (eds.), Key cultural texts in translation. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 9-24.
    This chapter discusses translators’ efforts to render the grammatical gender of Plato’s Greek in passages of the Republic, and to translate his terms noting differences between men and women with terms associated with the identity-defining concepts of sex and gender. It argues that the translation of 'genos' as 'sex' reveals less about the source text than about the role of the concept of sex in the translating culture. A discussion of a similar controversy in contemporary translation shows how debates over (...)
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  50. Foucault, Feminism, and Sex Crimes: An Anti-Carceral Analysis.Chloë Taylor - 2018 - New York: Routledge.
    This book brings together Foucault's writings on crime and delinquency, on the one hand, and sexuality, on the other, to argue for an anti-carceral feminist Foucauldian approach to sex crimes. The author expands on Foucault's writings through intersectional explorations of the critical race, decolonial, critical disability, queer and critical trans studies literatures on the prison that have emerged since the publication of Discipline and Punishand The History of Sexuality. Drawing on Foucault's insights from his genealogical period, the book argues that (...)
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